There are some things we are getting used to over here that I want to remember and write down before they don’t seem so new to us anymore.

I carry two cell phones everywhere I go.

Since we’re only going to be here for a short time Dave got me a little Chinese cell phone that I use to text, call and WeChat, but I cannot type on that thing to save my soul!  It can’t do some of the things my iPhone can do (Instagram, take pictures, use apps to find my way around with Chinese addresses), so I carry around both and I’m having some serious communication frustration!

Everyone I text gest me.ssagis lik tphis and I’m sure it drives them nutty if they can even understand two words of it.  I have to go two screens from where I’m typing to add punctuation so that makes it extra tricky.  Dave has taken to calling me “Fat Fingers” and gets a kick out of the messages I send to him.

I also get a great variety of calls from people who only speak Chinese.  Our conversations are awesome.

Lots of texts I can’t understand too:

I love walking around with the kids.  Not only can we walk to school, but also to the market and some little shops where we found school supplies.  I love that Claire oogles over every little child we come across.

We joined a gym.  It feels good to keep those endorphins going.  Max heads over there every spare chunk of time he can to practice his vertical and all the things he needs to do for volleyball.

We only drink bottled water.

When our bottles are empty we re-fill them with this thing:

We brush our teeth with bottled water too.

Lucy is turning into a pro.

It is muggy and hot here.  Wow.  Sometimes it feels like we are in a sauna.

We don’t have air conditioning in our house.  Instead we have these swamp coolers in most of the rooms that we turn on when we need and turn off when we leave.  This is a really big one for the area downstairs:

And here’s what they look like up in the bedrooms:

That one in particular is leaking down the wall…we need to figure out how to fix that thing…

It is hot, but there is something really refreshing in the air outside this last few days, just early in the morning and at dusk:  There’s a teeny, tiny hint of a bite when the air touches my skin.  And it makes me happy because it tells me Fall is coming.

And I’ve got to admit I’m pretty excited about that.

I inherited a trash can from a friend:

I never knew I could be as excited about a trash can of all things!
But you will understand if you see the kitchen trash can we started with:

Maybe you can’t tell from the picture, but it is like a little behind-the-toilet bathroom trash can.

Which, of course, filled up every two seconds in our kitchen.

And I couldn’t just jump in a car and run to Target for a new one.  Because I can’t speak this language.  And I don’t have a car.  And there’s no Target.  Ha!

Every day I work a little bit on my Chinese but it’s sure slow in coming.  People will knock on our door and go into some big schpeal about something or other and all I can do is smile and look confused.  It is pathetic.

The American receipts and coupons in my wallet have been replaced by these:

Let’s get a closer look at that beauty from the “Metro” supermarket:

Now that is a receipt!

Claire has found a good homework spot.  Which is good because she has a whole ton of it.

We got a printer.  Some guys from Dave’s office came to help us set it up.  I couldn’t believe the ink deal with it so I had to take a picture.  Instead of a little cartridge thing like we’ve always had back home, they have these big bottles of color that they squeeze in there:

Why oh why can’t they do that back home?  I swear we’re out of ink every other week with those teeny things.

We are addicted to “Bananagrams.”

Max was particularly proud of his board the other night.  (We count “Q” as “Qu” because we kind of cheat 🙂

We are trying to do lots of journal writing.

Our dishwasher has been broken until two days ago.

So grateful for dishwashers, especially since one time when I was doing a particularly large load of dishes and drained the water we heard a big bubbling sound.  Then all the dishwater came out of a drain in the kitchen floor and flooded the the place.

Yes, dishwashers are good.  So far no floods with that thing working.

Some day I will figure out which light switch is for which light.

I remember one time in Romania how I fried a curling iron by using the wrong plug converter.  And I think I’ve done that a few times since.  So we are trying to be really careful with the plugs around here.

So far so good, except that we only have one converter.  Gotta figure out how to track down another one of those things.

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